Friday, 30 March 2012

Arguing with my new psychologist... again

I have missed blogging. Unfortunately my laptop screen has broken. I can still link it up to the TV and use the laptop via the TV screen but there is little opportunity to do that with Adam about all the time and him wanting to watch the TV or play his PS3. He's gone away a couple of times this year for trips and although I didn't like him being away, I have to admit, I did enjoy feeling like the living room was mine. We don't really share the same interests when it comes to TV. Generally we end up watching 'compromise' programmes, which are ones we both enjoy but neither of us love. When he's away I can watch my sad programmes like 'Home and Away' and 'Supernnanny' to my heart's content without feeling guilty. I also really liked having a bed to myself. It's funny because when Adam's at home, I can't sleep if he's not in bed, which means if I want to have a good sleeping routine, it relies on him getting to be on time as well. Yet, when he went away, I realised that the quality of my sleep once I do actually fall asleep is so much better. No one pulling the covers off me or breathing in my face. Sometimes I get tired of him being around the house all the time. Sometimes I just want to be alone. Anyway, I digress. I didn't come here to complain about Adam.

You have missed out on two of my therapy sessions with New Psychologist, both of which have been ones worth talking about. Last week, I was just starting to relax after the rocky start we got off to and then we fell out again. Sigh. Remember before when I had emailed her and she didn't bother to reply and then lectured me about how I should 'bring things to the session' if I wanted her to look at them because she didn't have time to read things in between sessions? Well, I took on board what she had said and that was fine. She had asked me briefly three weeks ago about the stuff that has been going on with my dad lately. I haven't really talked to you about all of that; it's on the long finger. Anyway, she suggested that we would talk about it at the next session (two weeks ago). So between that session and the next I emailed her the emails that had been exchanged between my dad and I. I remembered what she said about 'bringing things to the session' so I just asked her in the email if she could print them off so that we could look at them during the session, as I don't have  a printer. I didn't think that would be a huge problem. I used to email stuff to T all the time and she had no problem with it at all.

Of course I was wrong. She confronted me at the next session by saying that I shouldn't be emailing her between sessions. I tried to explain that it was just so that she could print the things... but she talked to me about how it's a 'boundary issue' and that I should not have any contact with her between sessions other than in an emergency and that should be via telephone to the receptionists.

Well, I don't handle confrontation well, but I certainly let her know how I felt. I told her that she had agreed at the start when I asked her if it was OK for me to email her things and that she had then later changed her mind and said I should bring things to the session 'where possible'. I said that I try really hard to do the right things and that I didn't think I had done anything inappropriate in emailing her something to print because I wasn't able to bring it. Obviously, when she said that I should try to bring things to the session and if it was an emergency to contact her by phone, she hadn't been clear that she meant 'don't contact me at all unless it is an emergency'. It's not my problem if she doesn't have the balls to say what she means but expects me to understand anyway, is it?

She then tried to lecture me about it being a 'boundary issue'. She talked a bit about boundaries, which really pushed my buttons because if anyone hasn't been in the right about boundaries it's her: changing the goal posts all the time. I said: "I don't need you to tell me about boundaries! I have no problem keeping boundaries and if anything I worry about them too much!" I then repeated my reasoning about why I sent it. And it went on a bit like that. At one point she decided to also add into her argument that it's also not very easy for her to get things printed and that I should know, working in the health service and all, that resources are finite blah blah blah. I said in a sarcastic tone: "I'm sorry for asking you to print something." She responded kind of nervously: "Are you sorry?.. because you don't sound very sincere." and I replied: "No" and we both laughed: her nervously and me, ironically.

The discussion kind of ran in stops and starts over the course of the session, except that it was interspersed with sections where she tried to move on and I went quiet and refused to talk to her, which then forced her to have to re confront the issue. I was angry and I wasn't about to start confiding in her about my other problems when I felt angry about what had happened. That's just trying to brush things under the carpet and if our rocky start taught me anything it's that avoiding confrontation gets me nowhere.

So eventually, after coming back to the issue for the third or fourth time, or possibly fifth, I talked about how I always try to 'be right' and do the right things and that a lot of times in my life there were rules that you didn't know existed until you broke one and that I didn't think it was wrong what I did. She eventually also apologised and said that she hadn't meant to 'sound harsh' and that she didn't think I did anything unreasonable but that perhaps it's just difficult for her if she sees an email from me and she worries that it's something urgent that she may have missed etc. Sigh.

So I felt OK in the end. I think I stood up for myself and we both saw each others point of view and I was able to move on... again. Afterwards I thought about it and reflected that it was actually a pretty good thing that I was able to firstly even feel angry with someone else; then to be able to identify the emotion, sit with it without dissociating or reflecting it back on myself and telling myself it was me that was wrong and then after all that, to be able to confront the person about how I felt and defend my actions. I think that is pretty fucking monumental in the world of Candy actually! So in a way, it was a good thing for me.

That was two weeks ago. We got to talking about a few other things after that and I noticed she let the session run on for an extra twenty minutes longer than the usual strict hour. I wondered afterwards if that was because she felt the session had been 'tanked' a bit by the confrontation and she wanted to leave time for actual therapy. I refused to talk about my dad with her anyway. Although I was feeling OK that we had resolved things, I was by no means feeling open to confiding in her about anything and like I also told her, I didn't want to talk about it without having the print outs of the emails for her to see. I explained that this was because I wanted her to see that what I was telling her was actually what happened and not just my version of things. I talked with her about my dad once and maybe I was paranoid but I got the feeling that she was trying to decipher what 'actually happened' from what I said. That made me angry, but then that was when things were really bad and she was doing all the interrupting.

This week she asked me again if I'd like to talk about my dad and suggested that she could get the emails printed off if I'd like to talk about them. Perhaps I'm just stubborn, I don't know, but I said I didn't want to anymore. I reached out to her and invited her to share something that's so painful to me that I haven't even been able to tell you about it here on my blog where I can say anything and she slapped me in the face with a chastisement about boundaries. No thanks, I think I'll hold onto that story and share it with T when she comes back. I've survived my dad this far, I can survive a bit longer without someone to confide in. At least I know T will be on my side.

The strange thing about Dissociative Identity Disorder that I am discovering recently is how I can feel so angry and suspicious towards this new psychologist, where I trusted and liked T, yet it's so much easier for my new psychologist to get me to switch and for her to speak to the other parts than it was with T. This is a conundrum. It's also something I feel guilty about. T and I had been struggling through the issue of the parts wanting to come out to talk to her and me not being able to relinquish control for months and months before she left and then, within a few weeks of meeting my new psychologist, she already met Ebony and today she spent a good twenty minutes or so of the session talking to Pan!

I feel like when T comes back she's going to feel hurt that it was so difficult for me to let the others come out with her, even after nearly three years yet so easy with someone else. I think I know the reason for this though: I care so much about what T thinks of me. If she's freaked out by my alters and turns against me because of them it would be the most awful thing in the World... and I'd be stuck with her judgements. With New Psychologist, the risks are a lot lower. She's only going to be working with me until T returns, hopefully in the summer, so if she meets the other parts and that's a bad thing for her, it doesn't really matter does it? The first few months have already given her plenty of reasons not to want to work with me so a few more reasons won't make a difference. I guess what I'm saying is that it doesn't really matter to me what NP thinks of me, whereas with T it did matter to me, a lot. So with NP, I don't mind her meeting other parts so much.

I'll tell you about how it was to observe Pan meeting her next time. For now I will say goodnight as I have kept you long enough. I'm missing blogging and reading all your blogs too but don't forget me because hopefully I'll be back in full swing asap after I manage to get my laptop fixed. Take care. C


Ruth said...

Thanks for the update. You did awesome standing up for yourself and setting your own boundary about sharing your experiences with your father. I am noticing between my two counselors differences in how I feel about talking about different things. I believe that each one has their purpose in helping me to become healthy. I look forward to hearing about Pan. Take care.

Justine said...

HI candycan
Your P can be really annoying can't she!!? Talk about a mixed message - all the lecture about emails crossing bourndaries but then letting the session run over for 20 minutes !!
I used to have a therapist that lectured me on boundaries and like you I was so bloody aware of them and not taking too much that it was agony for me. we never resolved it and she would sometimes dish out extra time as though it was some sort of treat. The first time my current therapist went over time she apologised to me and I felt so incredibly respected by that. She didn't assume all i needed in the world was to be with her (even tho sometimes I do feel that way), rather she treated me as an equal who maybe had other thigns to be doing just like her. It was really good for me.
I'm sorry you've not had anyone to confide in about the dad stuff . She should be on your side and whether you feel trusting of her or not is really important.
Well done as well for standing up for yourself. I'm just sorry it eats into your time for talking.

Thinking of you.

Candycan said...

Hi Ruth, sorry for the delay in responding to your comment. Having PC problems at the mo :( Thanks for the encouragement about standing up to her. I start to doubt if my logic is right at times so it's always good to hear from someone like you. C

Hi Archi, you're right about the mixed messages. I've been thinking about what you said a lot: about the timing thing. You made a good point about it being a boundary issue too. It's really nice that your therapist apologised for keeping you late. That does show respect. C